UPDATE: Former USC Coach Losses Defamation Suit Against the NCAA

On May 21, 2018, a jury returned a verdict of 9-3, found that the NCAA did not defame former University of Southern California assistant football coach Todd McNair in its 2010 and 2011 statements. As we have previously reported, McNair accused the NCAA’s Infractions Committee of ending his coaching career in June 2010 when it found him guilty of unethical conduct in connection with the impermissible-benefits scandal involving the Reggie Bush scandal. The Reggie Bush scandal, also known as the Bush/O.J. Mayo scandal, arose after improper benefits were given to players and their families which resulted in stripping USC of their 2004 NCAA football championship title. In addition, USC was banned from postseason play for two years, USC lost 30 scholarships for three years, and the Infractions Committee sanctioned McNair and gave him a one year “show-cause” penalty.

According to McNair, the NCAA targeted him as a way to allow for harsher sanctions against USC and the Infractions Committee made statements effectively cost McNair his career. As a result, McNair was unable to find and thus sued the NCAA, seeking $27 million in damages, for defamation. After the jury returned a verdict in favor of the NCAA, McNair’s attorney issued a statement saying they were “very disappointed … disappointed in the result. Assessing the situation and considering our next steps.” In addition, McNair said outside the courtroom “I’d like to thank all the Trojan faithful, all the fans for supporting me the last seven years. It’s been incredible. It means a lot.”

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